Excess Noise Knowledge Base

Definitions for those who work in communications and perception

Knowledge Base


Filter 4: Effect

…or what will happen if

The first two filters — hardwiring and imprinting — are memory filters. They allow you to weigh a message to your inherited or acquired knowledge. The third filter relates to the present; what surrounds the message? The fourth filter is a precious filter; it can contribute to success or ruin.

The ‘future’ affects the way you decide, hence the way you evaluate a message. You know very well that all decisions you make will have an effect. This forethought sways the way you perceive and interpret a message. If buying an expensive car means getting into debt, you will perceive the purchase differently than if you are wealthy. People are becoming increasingly aware of the vast interconnections of their decisions, of the impact or effect of their decisions on others.

The unfortunate aspect of this filter is that it is often irrational. We will start out with a cartesian evaluation of risk and then suddenly, without justifiable reason, we will err on the side of risk. Some call it the ‘go for it’ syndrome. In gambling it’s the factor that makes you gamble away your life’s savings with one roll of the dice. Many movies have been made of the impetuous one-night meet to marriage fantasy.

While we are not the only animals who make decisions based on their effect (some store food, others make spare tools) we are the one who spends the most energy doing so. Understanding this effect-based process plays a major role in effective communications analysis.

Leave a reply



At its simplest, an election is a decision-making process that allows citizens to elect their government representatives. Elections are also used in business and institutions to elect board members. A referendum, some would argue, is akin to an election; instead of electing a person, you are casting your vote for a process or other systemic… Continue Reading


We all enjoy television programs, films and music. We enjoy a celebratory parade or fireworks. But entertainment is also a very effective form of communications. For centuries, entertainment has been used to influence both the masses and individuals. Leaders have used celebration to reinforce their political power. In modern times, one need look no further… Continue Reading

Leave a reply


Ergo in Greek means ‘work’. Ergonomics is the study of people‘s efficiency in their working environment. This said, in Communications and Perception Analysis, Ergonomics goes further to include the relationship between humans and their various environments and objects. How easy is it to use something? How intuitive is it? Is there pain associated with the use of an object or the visit of a… Continue Reading


The dictionary is rather strict in its definition of both ergonomics and its profession. Ergonomist is defined as the applied science of equipment design, as for the workplace, intended to maximize productivity by reducing operator fatigue and discomfort. Also called biotechnology, human engineering, human factors engineering. In fact, human ergonomics or anthroergonomics is the field… Continue Reading

Ex post facto

When something is done ‘after the fact’. In Communications Analysis we often use the term to point at others’ habitual means of analyzing communications. They look at target response after the message has been widely disseminated. Instead, Communications Analysts use their pallet of tools to evaluate a message before targets receive it. Continue Reading

Excess Noise

Excess Noise

Excess Noise, LLC is a Maryland-based corporation. We are a high-level boutique consulting firm built by preeminently qualified communications and perception analysts situated in the Washington DC area, Vancouver, Toronto and Geneva. Our accomplished analysts have provided critical guidance to United Nations Secretaries General, national presidents, prime ministers, legislators, Nobel laureates, civil society and corporate leaders.… Continue Reading

Leave a reply


We all act. We do so constantly. Our acts range from washing our hands to getting a divorce. The sum of what we have perceived throughout the course of a lifetime completed by the actions that have ensued, is our lifelong experience spectrum. That feeling of accomplishment is the desired goal of every message. We… Continue Reading

Leave a reply

This glossary of definitions is not intended as an academic reference. It is an exercise in thinking on our part. We hope to grow it and welcome any suggestions you may have.